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Thread: Help! 15 yr son's going bald! Reply to Thread
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  Topic Review (Newest First)
02-02-2013 02:44 PM
DHinJersey If it is male pattern baldness then there is one, and only one, shown effective treatment...and I use effective here loosely.

minoxidil in combination with propecia.

That's it. Any shampoo or natural supplement will be no better than snake oil. Even the minox and propecia will mostly just buy you some years, and have their unpleasant aspects as well As a male who started thinning in his late twenties, trust me I researched everything. If you really want expert advice instead of mothering try a hair loss forum. Those guys know their stuff.

it seems more likely to be mpb, which affects millions, than an incredibly rare thing like alopecia areata. In the end the only truly long term solution is acceptance.

two things...never get a hair transplant and avoid holistic practitioners. Whatever those types are good for, this ain't it.
01-30-2013 06:08 PM
I wish there was a remedy that didn't involve drugs or something. From looking on the web I've seen a couple of things people take to stop more hair loss, but I'm not willing to give him anything, unless it was a supplement-type.


    You might consider constitutional homeopathic treatment (I am a homeopath, so that's the position I come from on most health matters). Homeopathy considers the whole person- so not *just* the alopecia-  but general health, past and present- as well as family history. Homeopathy is natural, works with the body's innate energy, and is effective in things like autoimmune disease and other conditions that are vague and have no identified cause or conventional treatment. Sounds like your son is pretty grounded about it all, and maybe he's totally cool with it. But if there is some other imbalance going on, then homeopathy is definitely a holistic option. 

01-26-2013 12:47 PM

Your son might take a look at  There are a number of high school young men on there who shave their heads, either by choice, or because their hair is already thinning. It's a very friendly international group of bald guys, guys who shave their heads, or those wanting to give it a try, (either because they want to or because they have to). He'll find plenty of support for dealing with going bald as a young guy.

03-24-2010 06:21 PM
7thDaughter Something to add to your file of ideas about attractiveness of bald men: Women are attracted to men who remind them somewhat of their own fathers. The number of girls being raised by bald fathers is enormous!

If he keeps it neat & buzzed, nobody is going to care. It's not the 60's & 70's anymore, when long hair was "in" and guys were gelling & combing what they had over the bald spot. Half the men I know have a buzz or shave on top. It's pretty normal and they look well-groomed and confident.

Just like weight, acne, or any other physical problem, a parent's reaction has long-term impacts on the child. Get the health check, ask Dad to teach him how to groom his hair, and leave it. The bigger an issue you make it, the less confidence he will have.
03-24-2010 10:20 AM
Originally Posted by eepster View Post
It depends on what kind of alopicia it is. My friend who went through this had all his hair grow back after the steroid treatments and it hasn't come back since he had them 8 or 9 years ago.
I'm not doubting what happened to your friend.
However, steroids do not cure it at all. It can stop hair loss or encourage regrowth while you use it. But it has no bearing on future episodes.
Your friend was fortunate and followed the course that most alopecia takes (remission is very common).
03-24-2010 02:34 AM
silybum Eepster is right. Alopecia is the medical term for hair loss, but really doesnt point to a cause. It can be reversible or permanent.

Its great that you are going to see the dermatologist. Remember that you and your son are in control--its your choice how to treat this. The MD is a great resource, will hopefully be able to tell you what is going on, and offer you some choices in treatment. Then you can take a deep breath, and decide where to go from there.

There are lots of great provider who have non-toxic tools to help with this. I didnt see where you are, but depending on your state, you could see a naturopath (great if you find an autoimmune condition), an acupuncturist, nutritionist etc...

If you want to, you can look for the "black dot" effect--a sign of tinea where the hairs break off close to the scalp. Here are some pictures of what that might look like.
03-24-2010 02:10 AM
Originally Posted by sanguine_speed View Post
I understand mama.
Keep in mind that steroids do not work long-term. No one will tell you otherwise. A dermatologist might recommend steroids for temporary delay, but they will not cure this.
It depends on what kind of alopicia it is. My friend who went through this had all his hair grow back after the steroid treatments and it hasn't come back since he had them 8 or 9 years ago.
03-23-2010 10:39 PM
sanguine_speed I understand mama.
Keep in mind that steroids do not work long-term. No one will tell you otherwise. A dermatologist might recommend steroids for temporary delay, but they will not cure this.

There is a section at alopecia world for discussion, and a forum for those dealing with AA in their kids.

I spent many a night in tears for my child, and needed to know I wasn't the only one. I wasn't. And you wouldn't be.
03-23-2010 08:52 PM
momofboys2 I'm been feeling extremely stressed, worried and concerned that he has alopecia areata. This is what I'm feeling is likely. (we see a dermatologist on Monday).

We've been bringing his younger brother to see someone who does applied kinesiology (total body modification). She goes through allergy vials, (auto-immune ones being among them) to help get rid of my youngest son's allergy problems. So here we have a holistic type of help we know of but dh almost shouted his "no" to me regarding taking my older son to her if this is what he has.
His hair is just going so fast to be male pattern baldness.

I'm afraid of the steroids and don't know what to do if he needs to get this. So I'm feeling frightened, concerned, worried about this whole health situation and my son.

Before my eyes his hair is going, going, going... (confined to one area, so far, but going so fast in just 6 mo. time) It's awful to witness & not know what to do.
03-23-2010 11:27 AM
sanguine_speed It sounds like alopecia areata.

My 6-year-old has this. It started a year ago, and now she's lost almost half her hair, and her eyelashes have started to fall out.

There is no cure for alopecia, and treatments are often risky (our dermatologist recommended systemic steroids !). The thing is, it might work, but it will only work while you take it, your immunosuppressed and have other serious side effects, and your illness will progress as usual as soon as you inevitably stop taking it.

Itchiness is common with alopecia actually...many people have tingling or itchiness in areas where hair loss is active or about to start.

Alopecia normally clears up on its own, but some people lose all their hair and their facial hair and body hair. The cruel thing about alopecia is that it is unpredictable, so you cannot know what course it will take. It can also go away for years and come back later.

check out
03-17-2010 10:35 PM
Originally Posted by momofboys2 View Post
I hadn't thought it could be ringworm because in the web-searching I'd done the pictures looked a certain way and my son's doesn't look like that, but then again, maybe they only show the very worst kind, so I guess I can't really know from that.
When my DD had it, it didn't look like ring worm either (you couldn;t see the "ring" at all). She had to take 6 weeks worth of medication - it didn't taste bad, though - she actually liked it! It made her sun sensitive, and a little grouchy, but it immediately stopped the hairloss - within the first day or so.
03-17-2010 07:08 PM
Originally Posted by momofboys2 View Post
I was envisioning a shot in the scalp of steroid...
A friend of mine chose that when he had alopicia, and it worked really well. Though it might not be the most wonderful of treatments, it wasn't that painful and he experienced no side effects. (Though with the itching my guess would be on ringworm.)
03-17-2010 03:30 PM
momofboys2 We have an appointment with a dermatologist in a week and a half. Hopefully, he'll be able to help him.

I hadn't thought it could be ringworm because in the web-searching I'd done the pictures looked a certain way and my son's doesn't look like that, but then again, maybe they only show the very worst kind, so I guess I can't really know from that.

I just switched his shampoo on Monday. I wish I'd thought to do that a long time ago, but I didn't.

It's hopeful that they could give him something topical if it's alopecia. I was envisioning a shot in the scalp of steroid...the dr's visit itself is a bit frightening as I don't know what he might do. But the hair loss (which is now truly a bald spot since the latest hair came out), is a scary thing to see.

I sure do hope his is something reversible.

Thanks so much everyone for your thoughts on this.
03-16-2010 10:18 PM
amynbebes My daughter had a bought with alopecia about a year ago. We visited a dermatologist who prescribed her topical ointment and the hair grew back.
03-16-2010 10:10 PM
rachelsmama I'd switch his shampoos. It's a longshot, but I had hairloss as a kid which turned out to be a reaction to my shampoo. Just because it's non-toxic doesn't mean he can't be reacting to it in some way, and the itchy scalp is sort of suspicious.

ETA-I'm suggesting switching shampoos in addition to checking for medical explanations, not instead of.
03-16-2010 09:57 PM
eclipse If he has an itchy scalp, I'd really get him checked for ring worm. My DD had it a couple of years ago and lost hair in a couple of patches. It was exacerbated by excema. Really, you should take him to a doctor to rule things out. As others have said, MPB is generally passed through the mother's side of the family, so your husband's experiences might not have anything to do with your son (if you have a daughter, your grandkids through her would be more likely to have a similar experience to your husband). Anyhow, there's really no reason not to go see a doctor. If s/he recommends treatment, then you can research the options that the doctor suggests.
03-16-2010 09:40 PM
Sharlla dh started balding in hs too. he shaves it all off. i like it a lot
03-16-2010 03:00 PM
momofboys2 My husband just told me this morning that his parents noticed that he was losing hair when he was 16 (and told him about it), so he thinks it's male pattern baldness because it began for him at that age.

It's hopeful to hear that even though it began for your husband in high school, that it slowed down. Wow--that would be SO much better! Sometimes it's like I see daily change. What was there last Friday--on Monday it was gon--the balding place on his head doesn't have to be slicked down (with water) anymore. Because what used to stick up--it's gone.

I talked to my husband and he agreed to taking my son to a dermatologist. I feel bad for his itchy scalp (it's not itchy at the bald spot), as well as the hair loss. I know it's not comfortable to have that, but I don't know how to fix it. He doesn't have dandruff, just itchy scalp.
And yes--the hair loss.

I've researched and know that they recommend the shampoo Nizoral 1% to block DHT, in order to reduce hair loss. (I don't know how effective it is, but I know it's widely used/recommended). I'm guessing the dermatologist will suggest this (if it's male pattern baldness). I'm already torn about having him use it, because I don't want all the stuff in it that's (such as "blue #1"), but then again, if it will reduce his hair loss...

Anyway, it's hopeful to hear that your husband's hair loss slowed for those years.
03-16-2010 02:44 AM
LynnS6 If he's got a very itchy scalp, that's a good reason to see a dermatologist. Then the dermatologist can tell whether he thinks that it's male pattern baldness or a health condition. But until you get a diagnosis, you can't know how to treat it.

FWIW, my husband started losing his hair in high school, it slowed down in his 20s and 30s and is speeding up again in his 40s -- I full expect him to be completely bald on top with a fringe in about 5 years time.
03-15-2010 02:00 PM
momofboys2 I know he's not pulling it out. He just has a very itchy scalp, which is uncomfortable for him. I don't know what to do for that. I see him itching it. He was itching it a lot this weekend.
03-15-2010 01:36 PM
KMK_Mama Have you asked him if he is pulling it out? People with trichotillomania pull out their own hair and because they feel ashamed they will almost always deny it. It often starts in the teen years.
03-15-2010 12:28 PM
momofboys2 If it's Alopecia, rather than male pattern baldness, what can I do to remedy the alopecia? He DOES have an very itchy scalp. Is that a sign of alopecia? Do I get a high powered shampoo regarding moisturizing the scalp? Any idea what I should do if that's what it is? We're considering taking him to a dermatologist to check this out, but if it's because of inflammation (that's alopecia, right?), then what would I do for him.
03-14-2010 04:55 AM
Fuamami If it's hereditary male-pattern baldness, I am pretty sure it's passed down through the mother.
03-12-2010 10:24 PM
rayo de sol
Originally Posted by momofboys2 View Post
I was hoping there was some healthy supplement in existence that would help, but I guess not yet. I've been giving him biotin in his morning protein shake for 3 months now, but the spot has continued to worsen (biotin helps with hair loss, but not male pattern baldness. It's helped MY hair/my part-line, but not helped him).
I'm not sure about the biotin, but inositol is said to be a good supplement for hair loss. If the biotin isn't helping him, you might want to discontinue it because taking just one B vitamin can create more of a need for the other B vitamins, which can eventually result in a deficiency.
03-12-2010 10:20 PM
rayo de sol
Originally Posted by momofboys2 View Post
I scan the ingredients on his shampoo and bar soap and get products which I think are safe for him.
Look up his shampoo on Skin Deep. It will tell you if there's anything toxic in it.
03-11-2010 02:33 AM
Originally Posted by MusicianDad View Post
My first thought is stress. Believe it or not, stress can induce hairloss.

My second though is not to worry too much about it. I mean Patric Stewart's been as bald as a cue ball since he was 19.

I would get him checked out. Hairloss can also be a sign of a thyroid problem, iron deficiency or some other medical problem. I wouldn't go jumping straight to re-growth products which are suspect at best IMO.
I agree with the above.

Thyroid deficiency is often overlooked in men.

I say this gently, I think it would be helpful for you to work on your feelings about baldness. It is not a negative thing unless you make it into one. If your son is destined to be bald, especially at a younger than average age, he will probably take cues from you on how to deal with it. Will this be a traumatic, embarrassing thing for him or just a normal part of his development, like all of the other sometimes surprising things that happen around puberty?
03-10-2010 09:13 AM
mtiger I really think you should tell your son, and then take him to see someone. Just because you consult a doctor doesn't mean you have to proceed on a particular course of treatment. But he should know that something is going on with his body - he's nearly an adult.
03-10-2010 12:49 AM
joyluc I have had several episodes of alopecia, I saw a dermatologist the first several times and they were willing to go through the different types of treatments available without pushing them. They weren't confident that the creams, shots, etc. were going to help and after I tried a couple I just gave up and waited for my hair to grow back.
03-09-2010 04:40 PM
MeepyCat My husband started to go bald pretty young too. In his Bar Mitzvah pictures, you can see that his hairline is receding.

He has a pretty dang sexy shaved head these day. Right up my Patrick-Stewart-fantasizing alley.

I'd check for health issues like ringworm and stress and nutritional deficiency, and then I'd try to take a deep breath and not sweat it. Head hair doesn't mean a whole lot in terms of quality of life.
03-09-2010 04:34 PM
lyterae I met my husband when he was 20, he had already been experiencing hair loss for years. It started in late highschool and has progressed (receding hairline). We keep his hair cut really short , he just tells me that once it gets worse he will just shave his head entirely.
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